INDYCAR Photo
INDYCAR Photo

Injured Indy 500 crewmember discharged from hospital, recovering from surgery

Leave a comment

INDIANAPOLIS – Chris Minot, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan crewmember who was injured during a pit top in Sunday’s 103rd Indianapolis 500, was discharged from IU Health Methodist Hospital Monday following surgery to his leg on Sunday night. The chief mechanic known as “Chachi” hopes to return to action in the NTT IndyCar Series soon.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing issued a statement on Sunday night following the Indianapolis 500.

“We were relieved to hear that Chris was in good spirits before surgery on his left leg,” the statement said. “He will be held overnight at IU Health Methodist Hospital. He has been a member of this team for almost 10 years and is a big asset. We have no doubt that he will come back stronger.”

Minot was getting ready to change the right-front tire on Jordan King’s Honda (pictured above), but King came into the pits and lost control. His car hit one of the wheels that was laid out for the pit stop and that wheel crashed into Minot, who was in his kneel down position to change the wheel.

The AMR Safety crew tended to Minot before carting him off pit lane. After a quick evaluation at the IU Health Infield Hospital, he was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital in downtown Indianapolis.

King started 26th and had been running 21st before his second pit stop on Lap 69.  King lost control of the car and slid into the rear tire was set out to be put on and into the path of Minot, chief mechanic for the entry and outside front tire changer.  King later served a drive through penalty on Lap 80 while running in 20th place, two laps down. He went on to finish 24th.

It was his first oval race and first Indianapolis 500.

“I’m thinking about Chachi (Chris Minot) obviously,” King said. “I’m really disappointed in myself for the team, really for everybody.  I think we had a pretty strong car.  We were looking quite strong and making progress and looking at how the race finished, I think we could’ve been in the top 10, so that’s quite hard to swallow.

“First bit of call is to check that everything’s okay at the hospital.  It’s not good, it’s not what you want to do (injure a crewman).  It’s not.  I don’t even know what to say.  I’m really disappointed in myself and for everyone involved.  We could have had a good race but didn’t, so that’s that.”

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
Leave a comment

As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”